Hillsdale’s policy groups and political organizations from both sides of the aisle gathered for Citizens for Self-Governance’s second annual Politics and Policy mixer last Thursday.
CSG president, senior Emily Heubaum, created the event last year when she was the club’s marketing chair. As a new organization on campus, she saw the group’s need for better communication and collaboration between CSG and Hillsdale College’s other politically-oriented clubs. She also made the event open to non-club members, giving them an opportunity to check out the college’s political organizations and share free pizza and soda.
“We wanted to promote an environment of civility and cooperation and partnership when it comes to bigger events. Since we were new, we thought it would be a good way to do that,” Heubam said.
Heubaum said after last year’s event, CSG partnered with other clubs and organizations throughout the school year to put on events and bring speakers to campus. Eight organizations — College Republicans, College Democrats, The Federalist Society, Students for Life, the Alexander Hamilton Society, Young Americans for Freedom, Young Americans for Liberty, and Citizens for Self-Governance— had the opportunity to mix and meet with more than 100 students who attended the event.
“A lot of the other clubs reached out to me to put it on again because they had such a good time, got more club members, and developed new relationships with other clubs,” Heubaum said.
Heubaum said CSG made a point to invite College Democrats, because the group is often left out.
“One of the most interesting things we see here is people coming to talk to College Dems,” Heubaum said. “People like to come in to talk to them and hear their perspective instead of shoving them off to the side and pretending like they don’t exist.”
College Democrats Vice President, junior Katherine Wilkins, said the mixer provides her club with more visibility to other students on campus.
“We really appreciated being invited,” Wilkins said. “Sometimes people pretend that we’re not an actual group. We are all for bipartisanship, so having this opportunity to hang out with each other and eat pizza is great.”
When Hillsdale’s chapter of The Federalist Society began three years ago, it was only the second undergraduate chapter in the country. The Federalist Society is not a political group, as President and junior Dan Grifferty clarified, but is instead about public policy.
“We are not a political group, we are about public policy,” Grifferty said. “We’re about teaching people to interpret the Constitution in the way it was meant to be interpreted by the founders.”
In addition to helping students get into law school, the group brings in speakers. He said The Federalist Society’s greater exposure across campus has helped the group to bring in notable speakers, like Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai.
Freshman Maverick Delp said she came to check out the groups and eat pizza.
“I heard about this event in the union on the way to lunch from a couple of students that were in these clubs,” she said. “I came to check out Young Americans for Freedom and Hillsdale College Students for Life.”
Though the political affiliations of each group are different, Heubaum said the groups have a common goal: educating students in citizenship.
“We are really happy this is happening again and that other clubs really wanted this to happen,” Heubaum said. “We all want to be responsible citizens that are involved in our own self-governance and that’s what we are all here to do.”